We had a Good time on our first cruise, although since it was our first, we have no frame of reference.
Definitely an older ship, some minor indications in the cabin, other than that very comfortable.
Found the Bus easily at ... Read More
We had a Good time on our first cruise, although since it was our first, we have no frame of reference.
Definitely an older ship, some minor indications in the cabin, other than that very comfortable.
Found the Bus easily at Piazzale Roma in Venice, and was boarding ship withing 60 minutes of boarding the bus. Check in at port was delayed slightly by health declaration form.
Luggage came to room 2 hours after leaving port.
The Good; Food, plenty of choice, especially for vegetarians as they accommodated my wife easily (egg free vegetarian). Also 2 sugar free desert choices everyday. Table, we got lucky, we had a table with 4 very different couples(by age, nationality, how long married) hence a very enjoyable dinner nightly. Staff, we were very happy with our cabin attendant, waiter, assistant waiter and roaming staff. Guest services was very helpful. But we never met the Head Waiter. Ship, Since it was a smaller ship, everything was easy to access, ship maps at every elevator station, everything in working condition, some scratched in the wall paper in the cabin(expected with an older ship), decent shopping on board, bargains daily), decent casino but few tables open early due to lack of traffic, plenty of slots machines. Newbie Tip: Forget the excursions, the daily planner and port guide delivered to our room the night before the port was incredibly helpful in getting around, we saved a lot on travelling on our own with just some internet research before sailing. Took the train in Athens and did all important sites, all less than 25 euros per person. Easy disembarkation in Venice, back to piazzale roma in an hour after leaving ship.
Minor issues; ports, arrival time was always around 7:30am, lack of sleep catching up by the 5th day. weather, got little cooler so indoor heated pool was almost full and some rough sailing on the last 2 days, free sea sick pills handed out. Excursion gave little time to shop and eat in towns (most who took excursions said the same) Entertainment, shows averaged from good to ok. Magician on last day was excellent. would definitely sail again on Royal Carribean, but a newer and larger ship. Read Less
This was my boyfriend's 1st cruise and my 3rd and now we are both addicted to this way of travelling the globe!We decided to spend some time in Venice before the cruise so we searched on the net before deciding to stay in a really ... Read More
This was my boyfriend's 1st cruise and my 3rd and now we are both addicted to this way of travelling the globe!We decided to spend some time in Venice before the cruise so we searched on the net before deciding to stay in a really lovely B&B called the Ca Bonvicini in the Santa Croce area of Venice...we caught Easyjet flights from our local airport and we were there in less then 2 hours - impressive! We decided to get the public water bus from the airport to Venice (Which I booked on line) although it would have been far cheaper to get the bus but we figured it would be less hassle to get dropped off at the Rialto bridge and find the B&B which we did relatively easily thanks to the map provided by the B&B. Now going on a cruise does not limit your baggage unfortunately and we weren't sure how the weather was going to pan out... looking at advanced weather reports - it would be a mix of sunshine and showers (well monsoons in our case!)
We enjoyed Venice immensely and would love to go back there again and do some more sight seeing more thoroughly than what we managed to visit in one day but we were still happy with our efforts and one of the joys of Venice is just getting lost....soon it was time to be getting onboard the ship so it was onwards to the Piazzale Roma... getting there was easy but finding the free shuttle bus wasn't... it was only reading CC posts that we knew where to look!!! Anyway some people went past us with luggage labels so we followed them and found the bus!
Embarkation was really easy as we had checked in on line and before long we were on board and having lunch in the Windjammer before then finding our cabin... my boyfriend was very impressed by what he could see/eat and do on board so it was a good first impression of cruising for him. We booked the cruise fairly late ahead of departure and paid a really good price for an outside cabin... I did however miss having a balcony cabin as I had one on the Galaxy last year (maybe a balcony cabin for 2010!) You can tell that the ship isn't new but she is kept in good order....she just needs a little more updating for the 21st century such as having flat screen TV's in the cabins but we had more than enough space to sort out our clothes...maybe a bit more space in the bathroom for toiletries but not too bad.The outside window was pretty large and we were happy with the view. 6118 is right at the back of the ship and you will get quite a severe vibration coming into port at times but all in all a nice cabin.The ship has a gym and a spa and we never got to use these facilities, we did use the putting greens of 12 holes but we avoided the rock climbing wall and preferred to walk round the promenade deck 4 times = 1 mile! There didn;t seem that much to do on a sea day in bad weather which is what we experienced but it was nice to watch a few demos (towel folding lol! and a cooking demo and we attended a cha cha dance class too.....
We did really enjoy the food on board the Splendour of the Seas and we enjoyed the Windjammer for breakfast and lunch and one evening meal and the rest of the time we really enjoyed the main dining room, the King and I.. we had great service even though we were on My Time Dining which we really enjoyed and managed to secure a table for 2 each night. We also managed to have the same waiters apart from one night but even then we had great service so thanks to Honesto and Jeffery our regulars and Rodrigo and Jose Luiz our one night stand in's.Must also mention the head waiter Hans as he was very hospitable and when my boyfriend's steak arrived well done and not medium rare, he swung into action and within 5 minutes a fresh medium rare steak was on our table... that was certainly excellent service.Room Service food was also great, no complaints here at all and in general, we felt the service to be excellent.Much has been noted about the price of drinks and yes they are expensive with the 15% gratuity on top but as long as the pound is strong against the dollar then it's not too bad and we are not big drinkers.If Royal Caribbean bring out an extended drinks package as they have on Celebrity than that will be more interesting.
We attended most of the shows and found the entertainment to be generally of a high standard.. we enjoyed the flown in entertainment such as Jacqui Scott and the Beatles Celebration tribute band especially when they had a great jamming session with Anselmo the piano man in the Schooner Bar on our last night.The production singers and dancers were also good in the Dancing through the Movies show.
We didn't go on any ship excursions but organised our own or did a DIY excursion....we enjoyed Dubrovnik but were a bit shocked to discover RC charged you for a shuttle bus into town so we caught a taxu for 10 euros and walked back, it's about a 40 minute walk. Also we called on Dubrovnik on a public holiday so a lot of places were shut including the city walls which we had planned to walk but no one mentioned this beforehand! At least we had lovely warm sunshine in this port of call! Next was Corfu and we hired a car for 40 euros and drove round the island with our CC friends Tim and Lisa... we called in where the tour buses went but for a fraction of the cost and thanks for Tim for driving so well, in particular the splendid parking in Corfu Town!!!! The weather was so so today at least it wasn't raining and after setting off from Corfu we had our meet and mingle party where we had a selction of drinks and rather nice canapes to mumch on so it was nice to meet people who hadn't attended the unofficial meet and mingle on the Sat night at the Viking Crown Lounge! Next port of call was Athens and we banded together to get to the Acropolis... it's 4 people to a taxi and costs 20 euros....it was good that we got there asap for speed and weather reasons. The weather turned and at least we had just about finished viweing the Acropolis... our plan was to get down to the Agora and then to the Plaka... my umbrella got destroyed so I had to buy a new one and by the time i did this we were like drowned rats so we decided on plan b... get food and get warm in a taverna.... the rain would not let up so by the time we had done some shopping in the Plaka, we had flash flooding with some places up to the knees in water.... we had to wade across the sq to get to the metro where for 1 euro each we got back to Pireaus and walked back to the ship and it stopped raining.... typical but everyone looked totally bedraggled! We got use out of the hairdryer in the room for drying out our trainers! Next day was Kusadasi and we were ruined forever by parking up next to the Solstice... we were just drooling over her.....we had booked a private tour here and thoroughly enjoyed our day despite being rained on yet again.... this was my 3rd visit to Ephesus so at least I had seen all the site before in glorious sunshine..I just felt sorry for everyone else including my boyfriend as the heavens opened just before we reached the Celsus Library... it was again a monsoon complete with thunder and lightning..earlier on we visited the House of the Virgin Mary... yet again after a short while the rain did stop.. we continued onto the Temple of Artemis and then the village of Sirince where we were rained on again! We stopped to eat some Turkish pancakes here and very nice they were too!It seems that every tour private or ship booked ends up with a carpet tour and so did ours... it was interesting but not too heavy on the now then let's part you with some money front....those carpets are very expensive.....and we were quite amused with the Turkish people in the Bazaar where we did a spot of shopping back in Kusadasi.
Our final port of call the next day was Heraklion as we didn't have a lot of time there we decided not to do Knossos and just spend the hours chilling out around Heraklion viewing some of the sights and to do some much needed shopping for presents.. at least we had some very welcome sunshine for our final port of call! Not sure why RC have Heraklion as a port of call apart from the Palace of Knossos, in my view they should either skip this port of call altogether or at least allow more time here or on Corfu. This itinerary (for some reason) is different from the usual one....maybe someone can tell me why?
Our last day was a day at sea which was punctuated by an early morning call into Corfu for a medical emergency.... the forecast was 23c and sunny.... we thought great, on deck and sunbathe... sadly the forecast was yep... more rain and cold!
One of the very best things about this cruise is one of the last things and that is sailing back into Venice... it was 7am but there were loads of people up on deck... we were all rewarded with some great sights including crystal clear views of the Dolomite mountains shimmering in pink with the sdunrise... a truly magical sight and not to be missed despite the cold!
Disembarkation wasn't too bad as we swapped over our colour coded luggage tags for later departure ones.. however, RC need to know that one shuttle bus is clearly NOT enough to off load a lot of people going to Piazzale Roma and the waiting taxi drivers were trying to charge 5 euros per person to do this 10 min or less journey!!!!
In summary, a great cruise obtained for a great price.. shame about the weather... having cruised on the Majesty of the Seas, the Celebrity Galaxy and now the Splendour of the Seas, have to say that I like RC/Celebrity as a product but would like to try out a new/newer ship for our next cruise. Read Less
Background: We are an Oregon family of four: two 50-something parents, a 23-year-old daughter, and a 15-year-old son. This was the third cruise for my husband, son, and me; the first for my daughter. All cruises have been on RCI: ... Read More
Background: We are an Oregon family of four: two 50-something parents, a 23-year-old daughter, and a 15-year-old son. This was the third cruise for my husband, son, and me; the first for my daughter. All cruises have been on RCI: Mariner of the Seas to Mexican Riviera, Rhapsody of the Seas to Alaska, and now Splendour of the Seas to the Eastern Med. Cruise Highlights: * The staff, the staff, the staff. From stateroom attendant Germano to bartender Dimitri to the very helpful pursers (all of them) to cruise director Anthony ... RCI knows how to make passengers feel special. But I'd like to give a special shout-out to the Royal Caribbean Singers and Dancers. They were, simply put, fantastic. The entertainment they provided and their gracious offstage presence are the stuff of sweet vacation memories. We had the occasion to chat at length with the incredibly gifted Jeff Blair and Brittany Mazur, and they are both warm, charming ambassadors for their ship. Port Highlights: * Venice, Dubrovnik, Kusadasi, Santorini, and Corfu = a beautiful itinerary. Every port is worth visiting. See the Jewish Ghetto in Venice (with its barbed wire and guardhouse still in place); the Terraced Houses of Ephesus, Turkey, an active archaeological dig; the breathtaking, white-washed Oia, in Santorini, Greece; and the "old town" in Corfu, Greece, with its tiny beach and incredible olive wood buys. Stay at the Marriott Courtyard in Venice if you want a fairly priced room (20 minutes outside of Venice, with bus service across the street to "downtown" Venice). * Gonca Kizilhan of Kusadasi Tours made Turkey the most memorable port on our trip. A freelance tour guide, she was pure sunshine as we toured Ephesus and spent additional time at port. She is knowledgeable, professional, and exudes great pride in her country. * The RCI Excursion to Oia (in Santorini) provided us with a way to bypass the cable car/donkey issue (the only way to get up to Santorini from the primary pier). Meeting time for our group was 6:45 a.m.; we then boarded a tender that took us to an entirely different pier, where a bus awaited us for the steep ride up the mountainside to Oia. With its white-washed, blue-domed churches that seem to tumble into the sea, Oia is both fairytale and photographer's dream, punctuated by gentle breezes, church bells, and warm, friendly merchants selling high-quality goods. If you visit, look for my heart. Note: This excursion saved us time during our limited stay. We waited for one hot hour for the return cable car trip from town to the tender in the afternoon. We wouldn't have wanted to waste that time in the morning, too. (Waiting times vary.) This excursion also includes an enjoyable wine tasting. SPECIAL OBSERVATIONS: Cleanliness and design: Splendour of the Seas is one of the older ships in RCI's fleet, but it is beautifully maintained. All public areas were lovely. There were just a few minor issues, possibly due to the older ship design. For instance, it was often very hard to find a seat in the Windjammer Cafe. My advice is to make greater use of the main restaurant, which always had a seat available (plus really good food). The second quirk was the lack of announcements in the staterooms (though some folks consider this a plus). I loved them on the Mariner, and really missed them on Rhapsody and Splendour. I suppose this is a wiring issue on the older ships. Just make sure to read the daily Compass, or prop your door open to hear the announcements as soon as they begin. Embarkation and debarkation: Went without a hitch. Incredibly organized. Fellow passengers: There were many, many non-English-speaking passengers on this ship. It might have been due to time of year (August) and favorable exchange rate for Europeans. If you're seeking a cruise that is predominantly American or English-speaking, check with RCI or your travel agent about current trends on this itinerary. Note: RCI's staff all speak English and did their best to make everyone feel at home. Evening shows and other activities were introduced in multiple languages. Entertainment was generic. This issue, however, is the reason I rated our overall experience a 4 instead of a 5+. Cuisine/seating style: No complaints at either of the two restaurants in terms of food. I am not a proponent of the My Time Dining being introduced on all the cruise lines. There's something to be said for getting to know your tablemates and wait staff, and being able to give all family members a precise time and table number at which to meet every evening. Smoking: We're non-smokers, and we were fully aware of RCI's policies: no smoking in the staterooms; smoking allowed on the balconies. We hoped to luck out. We didn't. We paid extra for a balcony, and got extra: our adjacent neighbors' smoke. RCI, please designate one side of your ship non-smoking at the very least. The scenery in the Mediterranean is poetic. Chocking on cigarette smoke is not. It isn't fair to pay a premium for it. Teen club: Our son loves to dance, and there's been a teen club with dance floor (and arcade) on each of the three cruises we've taken. We rarely saw our son on our cruises. If you're bringing a teen for the first time, make sure they go to the club on the first day. They'll feel more at home on the rest of the trip. Really active teens might prefer the newer ships that have more bells and whistles. In summary, Royal Caribbean is a wonderful cruise line, and this was a beautiful trip. Kudos to RCI for working hard to provide a fantastic vacation product. 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We had booked RCI Splendour of the Seas for our first cruise for our honeymoon. Awesome somes it up. This ship may be one of the older ships in the fleet but it didnt matter. Royal Caribbean should be proud of the crew and ship as they are ... Read More
We had booked RCI Splendour of the Seas for our first cruise for our honeymoon. Awesome somes it up. This ship may be one of the older ships in the fleet but it didnt matter. Royal Caribbean should be proud of the crew and ship as they are a credit to the company. Sailing out of Venice has to be the most romantic time ever. Drinking our champagne provided in the stateroom and eating chocolate covered strawberries whilst watching St Marks Square float by was the highlight for sure. The stateroom with balcony was at the rear of the ship and very private. Much larger than anticipated and the bed was massive and so so comfortable. Joining the ship was made very easy and within 40 minutes we were in our stateroom drinking it all in. Literally! The only drawback to being new cruisers was that we went to the Muster station far too early and sweltered in 90 degree heat waiting for the more experienced people to turn up at the last minute. A lesson well learnt. The Centrum champagne bars are magnificent and the staff couldnt do enough. Took just one night for Carlos the barman to learnt my favourite tipple and be ready with it the next evening. It ws hard to believe we were actually on a ship and not a 5 star plus hotel. We had taken 2nd sitting at dinner in the King & I restaurant and shared our table with 2 other couples who were so much fun. The restaurant staff again were very attentive and the food was excellent. Not as much choice as I had been led to believe on cruise ships but the quality was there. Had taken the Diamond wine package for 12 bottles, bit ambitious but our table companions helped us out! The wine was very good indeed and no problems having wine saved till the next day or taken to our stateroom. Dinner lasted 2 hours every evening and a nice roundup to the day. Then on to the casino or shows depending on our whim. The ship is ideal for adults and teenagers, no real young children on this cruise. The spa was a bit of a letdown and the staff try and cram too many appointments in so it is not a relaxing experience. Very expensive also but worth waiting for the offers later in the cruise with discounts. Entertainment was excellent especially the Motown evening and the Mr & Mrs contest. All very relaxed and plenty of humour. Maybe more should be on in the day possibly espec when the ship is cruising all day but thats a minor matter. Windjammer restaurant excellent and lots of choice. Read Less
I have almost no complaints about the RCL cruise we took out of Bayonne to Bermuda, St. Martin, St. Thomas and San Juan PR. The few that I have are:Too little time in San Juan (the best shopping is there by far! Take the free trolly by the ... Read More
I have almost no complaints about the RCL cruise we took out of Bayonne to Bermuda, St. Martin, St. Thomas and San Juan PR. The few that I have are:Too little time in San Juan (the best shopping is there by far! Take the free trolly by the bus station to the top of the hill - get off at El Morro and walk down bearing to your left to get to the outlet stores early).Disembarkation was horrific (be sure to load up on fruit/yogurt/bottled water - as we had to wait quite a while to be called to disembark and the food staff ran out of provisions; all the elevators were being used by folks with lots of luggage or in wheelchairs/with baby strollers - Pack very light for departure, TAG EVERYTHING TO BE PICKED UP THE NIGHT BEFORE! I had to schlep 4 bags down 10 flights of stairs!)The wait staff seems a bit over-extended in the main dining room - hence - orders were confused or forgotten (I think they call this economizing) They tried VERY hard though - but clearly are overworked.NOTE - GRAND SUITE 1568 IS ACROSS FROM THE SERVICE ENTRANCE AND WHEN THE STAFF BRINGS SUPPLIES THE NOISE CAN BE HEARD EVEN WHILE ON THE BALCONY - THERE IS NO WALK IN CLOSET IN THE GRAND SUITE - THE JR. SUITE IS JUST AS NICE - WE HAD 1638 - MUCH QUIETER WITH A NICE BIG CLOSET!Most important BORING MUSIC! Hey - I'm a NYer - we got it all here (thank goodness) where was the Rock & Roll, R&B??? What little decent music they had started at 10 PM and ended at 12 midnight. Somebody give Dave Chapman their playlist please - and if I heard "Piano Man once, I heard it 10 times...enough! The ship needs a musical director under the age of 40 with a hint of nostalgia - not an obsession with it. The latin band was really quite good, unfortunately, Latin entailed everything from Rhumba to ChaCha so you got maybe 1 dance in (if you could find a dance partner - I learned to lead - new skill - thanks RCL).On the positive side:Good foodGood service (Roger Forde was our stateroom attendant - he was outstanding - bought a chaise to my suite for the terrace)Clean ShipFunny Cruise DirectorGreat Gym/Spa (the steam room was very underutilized as was the whirlpool there)Prompt Room Service (you can order from the main dining room menu and then go to the Windjammer to feast!)I would do this cruise again with my family but if you want to just party all night and then fall asleep in the sun during the day to work on your tan - go with Carnival - cheaper - less pretentious and a whole lot more soul and variety of late night entertainment. Read Less
We just got back from an amazing adventure aboard the Splendour of the Seas. We left Palm Beach on June 25th and flew first to Atlanta and on to Venice. we arrived on the 26th around 11. Got our luggage and a water taxi and arrived at the ... Read More
We just got back from an amazing adventure aboard the Splendour of the Seas. We left Palm Beach on June 25th and flew first to Atlanta and on to Venice. we arrived on the 26th around 11. Got our luggage and a water taxi and arrived at the Hilton Molino very quickly and efficiently. Our rooms were ready, so we showered off and changed and took the shuttle over to Zatere. From there we totally immersed ourselves in Venice! Over 6 hours and tons of pictures later, we made our way back to catch the shuttle back over to the hotel. another shower and change and off to dinner we went! The next morning it was a bit rainy so we decided to take a water taxi to the ship. had a nice breakfast and caught the water taxi. embarkation was painless and we were on board by 12:30. We wandered around for awhile first (not very hungry yet) and then our rooms were ready at 1 on the nose. Checked out our aft balcony (6124) and loved it immediately (will always want an aft balcony!). Met back up with our traveling companions (JS-8th floor) and went to the windjammer. the buffet was good about what you would expect for embarkation. the fish was incredible! after lunch we made our way to our friends room for sail away. when people say it is one not to be missed they aren't kidding! it was magnificent especially since the sun decided to come out and shine!about the ship:the ship was nice enough. we were hardly on it to be honest. the shows that we saw were okay and the food was good. we had some minor hiccups, but RCCL did their best to fix them. one being our tables were not together with our travelmates. it took two times, but we got a great table and had lots of fun with our table mates from Norway! nice service in the dining room and the food was pretty good. again that is so subjective we will leave it at that. our friends had a js right across from some maintenance going on (solarium jacuzzi's were out for 3 days). it was a bit noisy for them and they actually had to lodge a complaint. again, RCCL followed up with them until it was resolved to everyone's liking. ports of call:SPLIT, CROATIA:we took the excursion from RCCL to KRKKA national park (only 1 of 2 excursions we took from the ship). It was well worth the cost. we drove about an hour away. this worked out perfectly as it was rainy when we arrived in Split. by the time we reached the park, it was sunny. our guide was terrific and left us to explore as we wanted. we took our time and hiked through the foot paths and made our way to the bottom of the water fall. we even dipped our feet in at the bottom. we boarded the bus back just as it started to drizzle again. It rained the whole way back but our good fortune held again as it stopped in time for us to explore the area nearest to the port. we really enjoyed walking around and had some Croatian beer to make the day complete!CORFU: we rented a car here in advance. we walked over to the budget office and they promptly brought a car around. map in hand, we set out for Paleokastritsa (we wanted a beach day). coming from south florida, the beach is not as nice as we are used to, but the water more than makes up for it. we stayed just over an hour or so and then drove up to see the spectacular views from the monastery. from there we drove over to the other side of the island and went to Glyfada beach. if anyone wants a beautiful beach and relaxation-this is the place. we could only stay about an hour here as well, but it was worth every second we spent there! the drive back to town was a little hairy. roads are very narrow and crowded! thankfully my dh is an amazing driver and I can navigate well (we make a good team). we returned the car easily enough and then walked back towards the port. as per our tradition, we stopped and got some Mythos beer to enjoy the Greek culture.ATHENS:we were adventurous here and I am really glad we were. we walked from the port to the train station. we bought round trip tickets to the Acropolis and back for 1E each way. we met a very nice lady from NY originally but lives in Greece now. she told us to get off at an earlier stop (I think it was Theolis or something similar) and walk up to the Acropolis. she said it was more scenic and she was right! we bought our tickets to get in and wandered all around. we went to the roman agora, the museum and several other places that the tour groups didn't go to. so for less than 30E a couple, we thoroughly enjoyed the Acropolis. after we were done sightseeing, we took in the Plaka shopping area. we found a cute little cafe and had gyros, greek salad, Alpha beer and complimentary ouzo shots (although it took more than a shot to finish them). then we headed back to the metro station and arrived safely back in Piraeus and re boarded the ship.Mykonos: we took the ship's tour to Delos. it was a very educational and enjoyable tour. we hiked up the mountain to see the overlook. well worth all those stairs and huffing and puffing. after the tour, they dropped us back in town and we walked around. we found yet another cafe to have some gyros. somehow they taste better in Greece. we walked all around Mykonos and took in the windmills etc. the shuttle is provided back to the ship if you were on the tour. other wise it was a 10 dollar charge. Katakalon/Olympia: we pre booked a taxi to take us to Olympia. our drive, Nick, was great. he even gave us wine made out of his own grapes from his yard! we had lots of time to explore Olympia and then the two museums. then we walked around the town for about an hour buying frappes and baklava. Nick took us back to Katakalon and dropped us off in town so we could walk around. we did a lot of shopping here. some pretty good deals and it was our last port. we found a great place to eat on the way back to the ship. the lady that owns it was from New Orleans originally. here we had ouzo, mousaka and grape leaves. it was all very tasty and not too expensive! we made our way back to the ship just as they were closing up the gangway! this was our first time in all our cruises that we were almost always one of the last ones to board. it was just that nice everywhere we went!Venice: after a nice day at sea, we were back in Venice. we had a nice breakfast and then disembarked again rather painlessly. we got our luggage and made our way to the line for the free shuttle to the piazelle roma. from there we were able to walk to our hotel (Al Sole-very nice hotel). one of our rooms was availabe even at 9:30 in the morning! so we dropped all the bags in there and went off to explore some more. it was very hot this day. we came back around 3 to check into the other room and shower off. then we were back at it again. all in all, we walked for about 8 hours this day! had some yummy gelatto, italian beer and then a lovely dinner close to our hotel. we spent the night had a nice breakfast provided and then walked back to the piazelle roma and boarded the bus to the airport. we did much better with transportation costs after our cruise!It was an amazing adventure to say the least. it was our first time anywhere in Europe, but hardly our first time cruising. the ship was the perfect size for our purposes, but I could understand where people with kids might think there wasn't enough to do. we made our own fun everywhere we went. I am looking forward to planning the next adventure! I am happy to answer any questions that I can. I have almost 700 pictures, but would be happy to post a couple if there is something specific anyone wants to see. Patti Read Less
First cruise and anxious from some of the negativity re Splendour of the Seas. Turns out needlessly anxious in this beautiful and well run ship - all credit to RCCL, Captain, crew and staff.Found ourselves upgraded to a Junior Suite - the ... Read More
First cruise and anxious from some of the negativity re Splendour of the Seas. Turns out needlessly anxious in this beautiful and well run ship - all credit to RCCL, Captain, crew and staff.Found ourselves upgraded to a Junior Suite - the facilities of the suite outweighed the slight disappointment at being moved to starboard side [port side has the benefit of outbound views of Venice from your own balcony]. Suite large for the two of us and comfortable - tasteful colours and well equipped - tea/coffee facilities, mini bar, large balcony, subdued lighting, large tv, sofa & chair, lit wardrobe, bath & over shower, dressing gowns, hairdryer, bed cushions etc.As it happens the return view of Venice was better from starboard as the early morning can be hectic - ie left ship for return to airport 7:30.All arrangements very smooth and well timed, meals, shows, tenders, transfers etc. Passengers always kept very well informed. Anthony Richards the Cruise Entertainment Director is a star, very professional and a sharp, sharp wit even when giving useful advice and information.Very attentive staff who never hassle for tips but certainly earn them. I wouldn't begrudge them a cent. Gratuities are in discreet envelopes so tou can tip as you find your service [don't pre-tip]. Many thanks to Sajira, Thomas and Milan for all your care, always smiling while working so hard to please.Varied entertainment and classy areas of ship. Caters for all tastes - some great high energy parties to some subtle class acts in sensational Centrum area. Poolside trio best in our opinion brought massive South American atmosphere gthrough their talented music and songstress. Poolside party was great.Shows in our opinion very good, all be it some better than others but all professional and entertaining in very comfortable, fabulous theatre. Other entertaining areas and brilliant casino area.
King & I restaurant good food, excellent service, often tremendous views but most of all the great company and interesting conversation from many friendly people.Windjammer also excellent choice, always informal - if you're lucky like we were you'll see dolphins leaping the bow wave as you eat your breakfast! Food fresh, varied and oh so moreish!While we have no other cruise experience to compare, speaking to others who have cruised with other lines we were all agreed the Splendour of the Seas would and does take a great deal of beating. Critism from some posters is harsh - this is not a brand new ship but very well maintained. Carpet was being taken aboard to relay some areas, not that we ever came across anything at all shabby.Not the biggest ship but that may be to it's advantage as the 'feel' of the ship is very welcoming and inclusive.Don't take our word for it - get booked and go. Venice in itself will leave a lasting impression enhanced by this lovely ship. Read Less
We sailed on Splendour of the Seas May 16, 2009 from Venice. We were scheduled to stop in Split, Croatia, and then several Greek ports. There were 4 in our cabin (2 adults and a 6/9 year old). My parents were in another cabin. We had a ... Read More
We sailed on Splendour of the Seas May 16, 2009 from Venice. We were scheduled to stop in Split, Croatia, and then several Greek ports. There were 4 in our cabin (2 adults and a 6/9 year old). My parents were in another cabin. We had a great time the first night. Staff were friendly, food was good, ship appeared to be in good condition. At our first port of call, Split, Croatia just as the ship was scheduled to depart we were paged to the medical facility. It turns out that my father (69 years old) had a massive heart attack on the dock while walking back to the ship. We heard the "Code Oscar" from the dining room a few minutes earlier (he collapsed on the dock and fell into the water). The ship was in a hurry to leave, so we were all (nicely) hurried off the ship. The cruise line provided us with an English speaking taxi driver at our disposal. The cruise line took care of making sure we did everything properly with the authorities - and their taxi driver helped us interact with the mortuary, pathologist, etc. They put us in a very nice (5 star) hotel for 3 nights while we took care of everything. They even hired us a taxi to drive us all the way back to Venice so that we could catch our return flight (about 500 miles). After all of this, the only thing they charged us for was the actual medical expenses for the ship's doctor and nurse (less than $2,000). We did not have travel insurance but Royal Caribbean took great care of us at their expense. They even refunded 100% of our cruise for both our cabin and my mother's cabin. I can't say enough positive things about them. I hope nobody ever has to lose a loved one on a cruise, but rest assured that Royal Caribbean has a dedicated and compasionate staff that will make it much easier on you if it ever does happen. We are thankful for everything they did for us and dread thinking about what it would have been like if it happened without the support of the cruise line (if, for example, it happened the night before the cruise in Venice). If you read negative comments about RC and their medical staff, or any other staff, please take them with a grain of salt and realize what a fantastic experience we had when it really counted... We will never use any other cruise line again. RC has earned our business for life. Read Less
Background Info: We completed the Splendour of the Seas May 23rd sailing, embarking and debarking in Venice, with stops in Split, Kusadasi, Santorini, and Corfu. I booked through USAA travel and got an incredible price. I reserved a ... Read More
Background Info: We completed the Splendour of the Seas May 23rd sailing, embarking and debarking in Venice, with stops in Split, Kusadasi, Santorini, and Corfu. I booked through USAA travel and got an incredible price. I reserved a guaranteed Oceanview room, and was upgraded to a Balcony on the 7th deck, port side. I booked our flights through Orbitz and we arrived in Venice on the day of departure. We spent an extra day in Venice after the cruise.Hotel Info: We stayed at the Marco Polo Airport Courtyard Marriott after the completion of the cruise. The hotel was nice and clean as expected. Make sure to get a guarantee on non-smoking room and bed type if this is important to you (not all rooms are non-smoking), and bring a copy of your reservation. There is a bus stop directly across the street from the hotel. You can buy bus tickets (1.10 euro each way) at the hotel's front desk. You can take a bus to Palazzo de Roma (Venice). Buses leave every 30 minutes and it takes about 25 min to get there. Note: If you are planning to take the vaporetto (public water taxi) around Venice, consider getting a 24 hr pass. The hotel also provides a free shuttle to the airport, which was the main reason we stayed here.Ship Info: Although the Splendour of the Seas is 13 years old, the only true wear and tear we noticed was on the miniature golf course, which was in desperate need of TLC. Other than that, I thought the ship was well-maintained and kept clean. Hand sanitizers are located throughout the ship and you will be asked to use them before entering any of the dining facilities. I had a massage and mini-facial while onboard (RC was offering $99 ladies' night and gentlemen's night treatments on specific days) which was wonderful. If you are planning on buying anything from the gift shops, wait until there is a sale onboard. Entertainment & Activities: We only attended one of the evening shows which was decent. We watched a few of the others on the RCTV channel and they were pretty good. Had the ports not been as amazing as they were, we probably would have made more of an effort to see the shows. Most shows had two seatings depending on what time your dinner seating was. A lot of daytime activities were also offered, it seemed like there was something for just about every age group-daily lectures, art auction (including works of Picasso and Chagall), poolside activities, daily walks, etc. The activities seemed well organized and thought out.Service: We were happy with the service onboard. Every request we had was quickly met. Our room was cleaned twice a day and the dining service, especially the evening, was excellent. The recommended tipping is about $10/day. You can choose pre-paid tipping (added to your seapass account) and are given vouchers to hand in envelopes to room attendant and waiters on the last night. This method seemed very easy and took the hassle out of getting cash and exact change.Port & Shore Excursions: We pre-booked excursions in Split, Croatia and Kusadasi, Turkey with RC before we left. We toured Santorini and Corfu on our own, and were happy with that decision.Split, Croatia: Our reasoning for booking the Split tour (2 hr Historic Walking Tour) was that we worried some things may be closed since we would be there on a Sunday. Many shops were closed, so we were glad to have done the tour. However, it would have been cheaper to just arrive in Split and purchase a local tour. The main site to see is Diocletian's Palace. There was also a small Chagall Museum, but it was closed so we didn't get to see it. Croatia runs on their own currency (ATMs are available and within walking distance from the ship), but the two places we bought items (gelato stand and souvenir shop) both accepted dollars. In general, I recommend bringing small denominations of cash with you, so you don't get stuck with foreign currency. Kusadasi (Ephesus), Turkey: We booked the Ancient Glories Tour (8 hours) through RC and it exceeded our expectations. I highly recommend booking a tour here; the main site to see is Ephesus, and it is not possible to walk there from the port, and I imagine that the price of a taxi there and back would be very close to what you'd pay for a tour anyway. On our tour we visited Ephesus, Magnesia, Miletus, and the Temple of Didyma. None of these places were easy walking and most are still under some level of excavation or restoration. Definitely wear comfortable walking shoes, bring water, and extra batteries for your camera. You could easily spend 2-3 hours just walking through Ephesus. The tour also included lunch at a local restaurant which was tasty. Santorini, Greece: All of the cruise ships anchor out, so we took a tender to reach the port of Skala. RC hand outs tender tickets the morning of, so run down and grab your (free) tickets as soon as they are available so you don't have to wait too long for a tender. Once you reach the shore (about 20 min on the tender), there are three options to reach Fira and have access to the surrounding towns: walk up a pathway on a steep cliff, take a donkey up (on the same walking pathway), or take a cable car. The cable car costs $6 (4 euro) each way and only takes 5 min to reach the top. We did not have to wait in line, but we were one of the first groups to come ashore. Once in Fira, we walked to the bus station (which is behind the taxi station) and took a local bus to Oia (also spelled Ia), one of the most beautiful places I've ever been-white-washed buildings, bright blue roof tops-incredible (Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants was filmed here). The 20 min bus ride to Oia costs 1.40 euro and you buy tickets on the bus only. Taxis are approx. 18 euro. Oia has walking streets only and is easy to get around. Not all restaurants accept credit cards, but there is an ATM at the bus station in Oia and in one the town itself.Corfu, Greece: This island was also beautiful, but in quite a different way from Santorini. Corfu is green and lush, and much larger. Instead of booking a tour, we hired a taxi for 4 hours with another couple that drove us all over the island to some very scenic spots. We negotiated the price and ended up paying 40 euro per person (or per hour), and also gave a tip to our driver because he gave us such a wonderful tour of Corfu. It's about a 5 min walk from the pier to the taxi stand, but the ship offers a free shuttle. In addition, the ship offered a shuttle from the taxi stand to Corfu Town for $5 person each way (tickets purchased in advance on ship). Otherwise, it is an easy 30 min walk along the shoreline to Corfu Town. We hired the taxi right away and visited Corfu Town last. Our taxi driver took us to several scenic spots to take photos, and then to a restaurant/hotel, called the Golden Fox, that is about halfway up the mountain. We ate the best baklava here, then headed to a small "farm" where we purchased fresh olive oil and tried local wine. The olive groves throughout the mountains are really neat to see. After that we visited Paleokastritsa which is a gorgeous (but small) resort and beach area. If we had more time, I would have liked to have taken a boat out to see the caves and grottos here. We ate dinner at a small restaurant in Corfu Town and walked back to the ship.Venice, Italy: Venice is an expensive city, but there are several easy ways to save a little bit of money. First, don't eat at any of the restaurants in San Marco Square-they seem to be the most expensive. Second, if you want to do a gondola ride, you can hire one in a residential district for about 60 euro for 30 minutes (the Grand Canal gondolas are much more). Also, the cheapest way to see the Grand Canal is to take a vaporetto-public water taxi (line 1 or 2) around. Since I had already been to Venice, we didn't see all of the main sites. We did go up the bell tower in San Marco Square which was well worth the 8 euro pp for the best views of the city. We took the vaporetto (12 euro pp r/t) over to Murano, which is where the famous glass is made and a great place to get glass souvenirs. While most shops have credit card stickers on the doors, they don't always accept credit cards, or have a minimum charge, but there are ATMs nearby. Unfortunately we didn't have time on this trip to go to Burano, another island just beyond Murano. Burano is known for its lace and brightly painted doors on all of the houses. The food in Venice was great, especially the pizza.Travel to Port of Embarkation: We took USAir to Venice, and while our luggage was never lost and flights were on time, the food was awful and there weren't individual tvs in coach like most other international airlines have. We had reserved the RC transportation from the airport to the ship. There were RC reps waiting outside customs for us and made the transition to the ship seamless. Once we got to the pier, we were able to check in at 11am, and then board the ship. A buffet lunch in the Windjammer Cafe was ready at noon, and our rooms were ready at 1pm with our luggage already in them.Stateroom: We had a balcony room on the 7th deck, port side, which was had great views leaving Venice. The shower was smaller than I expected, but manageable. There was a small tv in the room and a European electrical outlet as well as an American electrical outlet, so the converter I brought wasn't necessary. Our tour tickets were also waiting in our room upon our arrival. There was plenty of storage space for all of our clothes.Dining: We had the late (9pm) dining which worked out very well since we got back from most of the ports late. Our servers were excellent and the food was good. There were several choices on the menu, and it seems like it wouldn't be too hard to find something you liked. The Windjammer Cafe offered a nice buffet for breakfast and lunch. If you prefer to be served, you can also eat in the King & I Dining room for lunch and dinner. Room service is available 24 hrs a day, but there is a $4 charge for orders late at night. My husband got the soda package for $6 plus 15% gratuity a day, which seemed like a good buy. There were not any alcoholic drink packages, except for wine, so we just bought drinks individually. The drink of the day was $4.75 plus 15% gratuity, most other drinks aside from beer and wine were around $10 each. Also, if you order a bottle of wine at dinner and don't finish it, your server will save it for you for the next night. If you prefer espresso drinks to regular coffee, there is a Seatle's Best Espresso Bar onboard as well, for a small charge.Children's Clubs: There were a few children on the ship, but I wouldn't recommend this cruise for young kids unless you have a lot of family with you to help out. We decided against bringing our toddler with us and were happy with that decision because it would have been difficult and I don't think he (or us) would have enjoyed ourselves as much.Disembarkation: RC offered the option to do an express check out where you carry your own bags off the ship. We chose this option since we only had a few bags and could carry ourselves, so we did not put our bags out the night before. At 7am they made an announcement for the Express Checkout and we simply walked off the ship with our bags-it was really that simple. There were taxis waiting just outside the pier and we took one to the Courtyard Marriott by the airport for 35 euro.Summary: This was a fantastic cruise and I would love to do it again. I thought RC was well organized and the food and service were good, so I would cruise with them again. Split was probably my least favorite port (I would have rather visited Dubrovnik ) but wasn't bad to say the least. Read Less
Here are the key points to this fabulous cruise.1. Royal Carribean continues to get high marks from me. Compared to Princess....there is no comparison. RC has it all over Princess. Service was outstanding (the crew knew their ... Read More
Here are the key points to this fabulous cruise.1. Royal Carribean continues to get high marks from me. Compared to Princess....there is no comparison. RC has it all over Princess. Service was outstanding (the crew knew their "stuff" and, more important, cared.2. Upgraded to the Owner's Suite....what an experience. We had 3 in the room so the "extra" room was well worthwhile. Balcony terrific.3. Try to be on the Port side......the sail-away from Venice sitting on your balcony is amazing. Views from the Port side throughout the cruise were exceptional.4. Ship is smaller than the "mega" ships but had all the amenities necessary.5. Ports fantastic. Especially loved Santorini.6. Food always hot and above average. Selections were very well balanced. King and I dining room a little noisy and Windjammer can get crowded on a sea day; however, food/service outweighed the negatives.7. Work out room also a bit smaller but I could always get a machine. Step classes were crowded.8. Crew worked together for some time and it showed. They were excited about their ship and their captain.All in all, this was my 8th cruise and by far the BEST. Read Less
Splendour of the Seas Ratings
Value For Money
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